Department of Marketing


Date of this Version



Published in Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies 2015, Vol. 22(2) 149–160; doi: 10.1177/1548051814548278


Copyright © 2014 G. Ronald Gilbert, Robert C. Myrtle, and Ravipreet S. Sohi. Published by SAGE Publications. Used by permission.


Organizational researchers widely acknowledge that positive relational behavior is associated with leadership effectiveness. In this exploratory study, we seek to extend previous research examining contextual factors that influence leadership style based on the characteristics of person–vocation fit. Using information derived from a 360° assessment that included one’s top managers, peers, and subordinates (N = 934), we find that leaders working in settings that attract Holland’s Social (S) types demonstrate more positive relational behavior than those who work in Realistic (R) type work settings. Our research also indicates that the relationship between leadership style and perceived effectiveness varies based on the work interests shared by individuals who are attracted to different vocational settings. One style of leadership does not fit all work contexts, and the person–vocation fit framework can help explain what comprises effective leadership style in different contexts.